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Posted at 4:08 PM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Lawrence Summers to return to Harvard in January

By Felicia Sonmez

Lawrence Summers, President Obama's former top economic adviser, is returning to Harvard University this month to resume his teaching and academic research, the university announced Tuesday.

Summers will be heading back to Harvard's Kennedy School, where he taught before leaving to join the administration in early 2009, and where his teaching "will focus on the implications of changes in the global economy for public policy." Summers departed his post as director of the National Economic Council on Friday after announcing last September that he would leave the Obama administration in the new year.

"It has been an enormous privilege to serve in the White House for the last two critical years," Summers said in a statement. "Now with the economy stabilizing, I look forward to the opportunity to think, write and teach about some of the critical economic challenges we face taking a longer view than is possible in a position with day-to-day policy responsibility."

"The shock of the financial crisis, the shifts in the distribution of global economic power, and the changes being brought about by information technology combine to make this an unusually important moment to reexamine traditional assumptions about economic policy in the United States and beyond," Summers added. "I am especially excited by the prospect of working with some of the most able students in the world at such a critical time."

Obama is nearing a decision in the search to succeed Summers, with former Clinton economic adviser Gene Sperling and former Clinton deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman among those in the mix.

By Felicia Sonmez  | January 4, 2011; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Question for those who know Harvard better than I (i.e., everybody):

Does returning to a position at the Kennedy School also mean that Mr. Summers is simultaneously resuming a position in the Econ Dept.?

If not, is there any significance in having started out in the Econ Dept (that is where he started his career, right?) and ending up at the K-School?

Posted by: MEppinger | January 5, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

"Haavad". Isn't that overrated liberal tower of Babel where Barry was the editor of the Law Review but never once wrote a review? Is that because he's a booger eatin' token who was only there because of his skin was the right color for their PC purposes?

Posted by: carlbatey | January 5, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

For the sake of our financial futures, let's hope he stays at Harvard this time.

Intelligence has never automatically translated to wisdom.

None of these so called genius' could hold a candle to the Founding Fathers. And there in lies the problem with the leaders we suffer today.

Posted by: wesatch | January 4, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Any brilliant, bona fide economist would go off and come up with an applicable economic theory for this era of political myopia, laissez faire regulations, greed and ignorance. This era of history needs heroes and wise men. Too bad a myopic Summers could not breathe inspiration so needed by this country.

Posted by: timeforhonesty | January 4, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I hope Larry Summers will get those MBA students to sign that ethics pledge which made Harvard the butt of so many jokes on The Daily Show.

Our economy is in shambles because business leaders have institutionalized frauds and fictions as common financial policies in commerce.

We need the next set of leaders in business to wake up and realize that there is no substitute for good, sound, ethical decision making in government and business.

I don't think I've seen Mr. Summers demonstrate the capacity to understand these simple but powerful topics. Perhaps it will be enough to underscore the catastrophic and quasi-lethal consequences his poor decision making has created in our markets over the years.

Good riddance to larry Summers and the concept that laissez-faire gross neglect of fraud prevention is something the market will correct.

It's actually what makes people such victims that they can't get food at the market.

I hope the business students at Harvard take to heart Mr. Summers' gross and appalling, near criminal, failures and categorical neglect which has caused so many of our own citizens so much suffering.

It is the role of educated people to support humanity, not destroy it for profit and greed.

That is why Larry Summers is getting sent back down, away from the rest of us. He will probably exercise more regulation over students than he ever exercised to support humanity in government.

Thanks to people like Larry Summers, criminals thrive in commercial markets designed to function as a peaceful mechanism for ordinary people to provide for themselves.

We have low confidence that he's learned anything from the suffering he's helped to create through egregious and habitual gross negligence as a member of government.

Good riddance. We send him down without recommendation for anything.

His policy failures speak for themselves.

Posted by: agx48 | January 4, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Larry Summers, the guy said to be the smartest man in a small room. What a waste. He should be going to jail, for helping to get rid of Glass Steagall.

Posted by: jkarlinsky | January 4, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised he is not going to Wall Street. I am further surprised that someone with his experience is just waking up.

Posted by: Billy1932 | January 4, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame these elite institutions don't have higher standards.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 4, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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